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How Do I Choose the Best Brick Fireplace Mantel?

Angela Crout-Mitchell
Angela Crout-Mitchell

Many new and existing homes feature brick fireplaces as a source of heat and a focal point in the living or family room areas. As a homeowner, one of the most important decisions to make in regards to a fireplace is the type of mantel. There are several features that should be considered when choosing an appropriate brick fireplace mantel, including the type of fireplace you have, the brick material, and the mantel design. Fireplace mantels have functional purposes, but many people tend to choose these pieces for their attractive appearances and how they fit in with the rest of the room's decor.

Before choosing any brick fireplace mantel piece, it's important to know what type of fireplace you have in order to choose an appropriate model and brick decor for the mantel. Although many homes have traditional wood-burning fireplaces, an increasing number of homes have an electric or gas fireplace. In most cases, traditional fireplaces can use any type of mantel as long as it fits around the fireplace properly. Some gas and electric units are uniquely shaped and may require specialty mantels for the best results. If you are unsure about this detail be sure to ask a professional, such as the builder or home improvement store employee, for advice.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Once you have determined what type of brick fireplace mantel is appropriate for your unit, choosing the mantel material type is the next step. There are many types of brick to choose from when planning a fireplace mantel. Red brick is considered to be the most traditional choice, but manufacturers are now offering brick in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes for use in brick fireplace mantels. Antique brick mantel choices typically feature the traditional red brick in addition to rough brick designs reminiscent of old-fashioned cabins. Other brick mantel choices include fire-glazed bricks in assorted colors and painted bricks for a more unique, custom brick fireplace mantel.

The design and model of the brick fireplace mantel is incredibly important, and mantel options can be as simply or ornately designed as the fireplace itself. Some homeowners prefer choosing a rustic or simply designed fireplace mantel piece for casually decorated rooms, such as the family room. For a more formally decorated room, such as the living or dining room, a more ornate mantel may be more appropriate. Some fireplace owners choose to have mantels custom made in order to carefully select every detail of the piece.

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